by Jon Dykstra (from the April 2004 RP)
This story is true, it involves a lot of geography and it most definitely involves God. If you sometimes feel overwhelmed by the sheer evil going on around you, if you want to do “something” about it but don’t know what to do, just remember God can use even our tiny efforts for His great purpose.
Just the facts
On March 3, a medical student at the University of Manitoba Medical School was denied his degree because he refused to participate in abortion related activities.
On March 18, the Toronto-based website LifeSiteNews.com reported that the student, who wishes to remain anonymous, “received a failing grade in an Obstetrics and Gynecology portion of his program for refusing to perform or refer for any abortive procedure. Three separate appeals to the Medical School all failed to correct the matter.”
Three days later Ottawa-based writer, researcher, and self-acknowledged “information junkie” Tim Bloedow saw the story and sent it to a few dozen email contacts. Bloedow is subscribed to a number of information services, and also frequents several conservative news websites. He scans these sources each day and then passes on the relevant info by email to a select group with similar interests.
In the Edmonton offices of Reformed Perspective a staff member checked their email in the early hours of March 22 and found Bloedow’s email report. While considering the story for inclusion in the magazine, the staffer passed it onto the American, Oregon-based news website WorldNetDaily.com.
This conservative, and sometimes Christian website did some digging and even tried contacting the university’s dean for the medical faculty, Dr. Brian Hennen. On March 23, WorldNet Daily.com posted their own version of the story online and alerted their readership of 5 million to what was going on.
A day later a teacher at Immanuel Christian School in Winnipeg, Manitoba showed some of his high school students the web article and asked them whether they wanted to do something about it. They did indeed. The letter you read below was written by one of those students.
Dear Dr. Hennen,
Recently I was reading the news and I came across an article about a med student who’s attending the University of Manitoba and was not allowed to graduate because he does not agree with abortion, or recommending an abortion.
As a woman, I do not believe abortion is right. I do not believe that a woman has the right to kill the child within her, because she is not “ready,” or can’t afford it. Although I haven’t been in that situation before, I do know that while being in the situation I would be a wreck and not in my “right mind.” At times like these, I want to be able to know that my doctor would do what’s best for my child and me; at times like these, I want to know and have the comfort that my doctor will not take advantage of me in this vulnerable situation; at times like these, I want to know that MY doctor will not even hint at abortion, and think of every other option other than abortion.
How can I be sure my doctor will not pressure me into an abortion, or even hint at one? I need a doctor with the same morals and views as me. I need one I can trust, and agree with. I need one that I know will do what is best for me. I need a doctor with this med student’s view. But how can this be possible if you will not let him graduate?
I urge you to consider those who don’t agree with abortion, consider the med student who wants to do what is right, for what harm is there in saving a child’s life?
Let this student graduate, for I need, WE NEED, a doctor like that.
Frequent flyer miles
This story originated in Manitoba, went to Toronto, took a U-turn in Ottawa, traveled half way across the country to Edmonton, dipped into the United States and then finally wound its way home back to Manitoba. In each case a Christian read the story and wanted to do “something.” None of them did a lot, but in the end a lot was done.
A postscript of sorts: the Lord blessed the efforts of all who got involved – the University of Manitoba medical student was eventually reinstated.